While it may seem like a long time until November, the Louisville Book Festival will be here before we know it.
If you’ve never participated in a book festival as an author, you will probably have lots of questions, and that is perfectly okay and completely understandable. The website provides as much information as possible to ensure your questions are answered before you apply. Check out our FAQ’s section here. If questions pop up and you don’t see the answers on the website, please be sure to email us and also, attend the information sessions we offer online. Your question might be something we need to add or even write a blog about.
It might also be beneficial, if you are new to book festivals, to make contact with an author in your area who has attended a book festival. Just as parents often have the best advice and life hacks for other parents, experienced authors often have great tips for making your first book festival a success. They can help you set reasonable expectations and know what to pack and how much.
Sometimes authors come to book festivals expecting to sell a ton of books and make a little money, and while that does happen sometimes, it does not happen for everyone. Keep in mind that attending a book festival is not only a selling opportunity but a marketing and networking opportunity. A book festival allows you to meet other authors, all kinds of book lovers, agents, publishers, lots of industry professionals and new friends. These can be relationships that bear fruit in ways you cannot anticipate.
At the end of 2022, a fantasy author named Chelsea Banning posted on Twitter that only two people had come to her author event; she was disappointed, as anyone would be. Her tweet went viral, and she heard from some of the queens and kings of writing (Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman to name just two) about their experiences when no one came to their author events.
The point: Even the most beloved and famous writers now have gone through the early not-so-glamorous days of writing and selling books.
The bigger point: Participate in the Louisville Book Festival and other book festivals. Meet people. Make connections. Be proud of whatever you’ve written and know that you are planting seeds for a great future.